In the Blog
Mid-Week Round Up: April 2
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Graduate Assistants and Teaching Assistants at York University have ended their month-long strike. Members of the union CUPE 3903 ratified a new deal that will see York freeze tuition for the union’s teaching and graduate assistants and repay its international graduate students the tuition hike they paid last fall. As well, grad students identifying as LGBT will be classified as part of an equity hiring group. Congratulations to CUPE 3903 on a hard-won campaign!
Meanwhile, students and citizens in Quebec are taking to the streets again. Three years after the Quebec Spring, which saw hundreds of thousands of Quebecers publicly protesting a tuition hike (and the provincial government generally), Quebecers are mobilizing against austerity measures. Protests were held over the past few weeks in preparation for a “Social Strike” on May 1.
The Daily Show has named a replacement for Jon Stewart, announcing that Trevor Noah will take the helm as host. Appointing a Black comedian to a high-profile position was initially seen as great news for the visibility of people of colour on late-night TV, but Noah’s Twitter history has revealed some extremely sexist, fatphobic, and anti-Semitic jokes that has audiences worried for the typically progressive show. Additionally, as Wendy Todd explores in The Washington Post, Noah has a history of making fun of African-Americans. Writing for Medium, Ijeoma Oluo offers some advice to Noah and other celebrities who have contradictions in their apparent social values and comedic or artistic work:
“You have hurt people, even if you didn’t mean to. And if you are a grownup truly committed to your values, you have admitted it and done your best to learn from it. But chances are, if you can’t handle facing it in a celebrity you don’t even know, you haven’t been able to face it in yourself.”
With hit shows like Empire, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, television seems to be getting more diverse all the time. Aaron Foley argues in the Atlantic that daytime soaps of the ’80s and ’90s paved the way for Black characters to take the spotlight on the small screen: “[D]aytime, before primetime, provided valuable space for black characters to be layered — and for viewers, black and otherwise, to appreciate their complexity.”
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival wraps its Toronto tour tonight with a screening of Lady Valor. The documentary shares the story of Kristin Beck, a trans woman who served with the elite Navy SEALs for 20 years while living as a man.